December 12, 2012
After 50 years in the Rock n’ Roll business, the Rolling Stones, the Heavy Weight Champions of Rock n’ Roll, have released a new greatest hits package that includes a hard-hitting, anti-establishment single titled, “Doom and Gloom.”
Just in time for the so-called apocalypse, “Doom and Gloom” proves once again that these guys can still deliver by sticking to their roots.
The music video depicts the destruction of the American empire as perpetual war and greedy bankers cast the population into an economic abyss. And there’s lots of symbolism in this piece, from the increase in poverty to the overcrowded prison system and even the poison in our food supply.
The Rolling Stones, at 50, are no strangers to political controversy. In 1991, their song “Highwire” deconstructed the build-up to the Persian Gulf war and criticized the politics behind it.
Take a look at the lyrics and see for yourself:
“We sell ‘em missiles, We sell ‘em tanks;
We give ‘em credit, you can call the bank;
It’s just a business, You can pay us in crude;
You love these toys, just go play out your feuds;
Got no pride, don’t know whose boots to lick;
We act so greedy, makes me sick sick sick.
“We walk the highwire, Sending the men up to the front line
Hoping they don’t catch the hell fire, With hot guns and cold, cold nights.”
“This is not about the war. It’s about how you build up some shaky dictator. You can’t build them up, ’cause then you’ve got to slam them down,” guitarist Keith Richards reportedly said at the time of the “Highwire” release.
Then in 2005, they released “Sweet Neocon,” which was highly critical of the Bush administration, no doubt a lyricial jab at the Patriot Act.
One line from “Sweet Neocon” goes, “It’s liberty for all, democracy’s our style/Unless you are against us, then it’s prison without trial.”
Needless to say the song never made a Big Bang on Clear Channel.
And now with the release of “Doom and Gloom,” it looks like the Stones have thrown themselves back into the political spotlight.
“Lost all that treasure in an overseas war, It just goes to show you don’t get what you paid for,” lyricist Mick Jagger sings in heavy protest of seemingly endless wars.
One of the recurring themes of the music video is a group of victims who are holding up question marks, as if to say, “Question everything.” When you see a build up to war, question where it came from. When the economy collapses, question the origins of the disaster.
According to “Doom and Gloom,” you won’t find the answers on your television set.